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The Dangers of Fast Food
The fast food industry adds every possible chemical they can legally get away with to get people addicted to their food. In fact, if you eat fast food and then stop, you can actually experience withdrawal symptoms. Like drugs. Not only that, but the preservative content in these fast food burgers these days is so high that the product doesn’t even break down. Fast food has been linked to increased obesity in adults and children. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in our country, especially among children. Here are some amazing stats to consider:
65% of American adults are overweight
30% of Americans are obese
According to the American Obesity Association, 127 million Americans are overweight, 60 million are obese, and 9 million are “morbidly obese”: they weigh 100 pounds more than they should.
Over the past two decades, obesity rates among children have doubled and rates among adolescents have tripled.
As of September 2004, 9 million American children ages 6 to 18 were obese.
A Killer Some 400,000 Americans will die this year from obesity-related diseases — nearly as many as smoking. Americans have grown too big, and the coffins have to be oversized!
Diseases related to obesity:
In 2003, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that one in three children born in the US in 2000 would develop type 2 diabetes. Ten-year-olds with type 2 diabetes live an average of 17 to 26 years less than healthy children. Diabetes can lead to heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage in the lower legs, which can lead to amputations (82,000 of these cases occur each year). Diabetes is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
fast food is everywhere
The rise of the fast food industry has played a vital role in why our nation is plagued by obesity. Fast food is everywhere: big cities, small towns, shopping malls, airports, bus stations, schools, even hospitals!
There are 31,000 McDonald’s worldwide, nearly 14,000 of which are in the United States
people are eating a lot of fast food
Fast food has become cheaper and easier to buy. In 2004, Americans spent $124 billion on fast food. That same year, a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that the percentage of fast food calories in the American diet had increased from 3 percent to 12 percent over the past two decades.
Fast food culture spread to other countries around the world in the 1980s. In countries such as Japan and China, people have ditched traditionally healthy diets in favor of fast food, leading to skyrocketing rates of obesity and other diseases.
Fast food restaurants serve more
Not only is fast food ubiquitous, but fast food companies are encouraging consumers to eat more by offering oversized burgers, oversized fries and sodas in buckets.
Products like The Whopper, The Big Gulp and Super Size are high in calories, sugar and fat. Let’s take a closer look: The Double Gulp soda at your local 7-Eleven holds 64 ounces — that’s half a gallon! It contains the equivalent of 48 teaspoons of sugar. A typical hamburger at a fast food restaurant weighs 6 oz. In 1957, it weighed 1 oz. According to one nutritionist, your average fast food meal is more like three meals.
The average McDonald’s meal contains 1,550 calories.
fast food is bad for us
We are eating more food that is not nutritious. Most fast food is high in fat, sugar, calories, starch, salt, fiber and nutrients. Because fast food lacks nutrition, we are not satisfied after eating it. It leaves us craving more in no time.
Why children are at major risk
Our children are exposed to fast food advertising. Fast food chains spend more than $3 billion a year on TV advertising. They intentionally advertise to kids so they become customers for life. These are known as cradle-to-grave advertising strategies. The researchers found that children can often recognize company logos, such as the golden arches, before they recognize their own names.
In one year, the typical American child watches over 40,000 TV commercials. About 20,000 of these ads were for junk food: fast food, candy, soda and breakfast cereal. That means your kids are seeing a junk food ad every five minutes while watching TV.
To further encourage kids to eat fast food, companies like McDonald’s offer Happy Meals with free toys. McDonald’s gives away more than 1.5 billion toys each year. Almost a third of new toys given to American children each year come from McDonald’s or other fast food restaurants.
To combat these elaborate advertising tactics, it is crucial to teach our children healthy eating habits that are simple, fun, and delicious. By teaching our children the dangers of fast food and how to eat healthier, they are able to make good choices.
Fast food is full of chemicals and preservatives.
Fast food doesn’t break down. This is because it is full of chemicals and preservatives. Of course, there’s a great YouTube video called “The Bionic Burger” that illustrates this in a fun and informative way.
The link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYyDXH1amic
This video is based on a true story. In 1991, the software engineer from Burlington, Vermont (who prefers to remain anonymous) stopped by a McDonald’s on his way home from a New Year’s Eve outing with friends in Boston. He bought two cheeseburgers, ate one, and kept the other in his coat pocket for later.
He forgot the hamburger in his pocket. A year later, he pulls his coat out of the closet and puts it on, only to find a New Year’s Eve cheeseburger in the pocket. It looks exactly the same. He was totally blown away. He told his friends and family, but no one believed him. So he decided to open a burger museum to show everyone how indestructible these cheeseburgers and hamburgers are.
He started collecting hamburgers, one every year. By the fall of 2004, he had amassed quite a collection:
The Original ’91 McDonald’s Cheeseburger That New Year’s
’92 McDonald’s Cheeseburger and Big Mac
’93 Burger King Burger
’94 McDonald’s Hamburger
’95-’03 McDonald’s Cheeseburger
He keeps them on a shelf in the open air in the living room. These burgers look exactly the same. Bread, meat, cheese, special sauces, pickles, even lettuce. They have remained the same shape and color for over a decade!
Food should break down.
Food should be the most biodegradable of all products. How is it possible that these burgers haven’t gone bad? decay? Moldy?
My friends Len Foley and Rebecca Gauthier are not convinced. They thought it might be an exaggeration, or it might not be true at all. In February 2007, they went to buy a hamburger at their local McDonald’s in Burbank, California.
They put it in the open garage and left it there. Once a week, they’ll go out and “check out” their burgers. It will continue to look and smell exactly the same. No animals, insects or birds have touched it. A year later, they started showing it at several health shows, along with some burgers from Matt’s Burger line. Since then, they’ve added hostess layer cakes, cupcakes, and other burgers. As of April 2008, the composition of the food had not changed significantly.
If you don’t believe me, try it yourself! Go invest a dollar and buy a hamburger. (BTW, this is the only time I tell you to do something like this!) Put it in your garage, or wherever, and let it sit there. I think it’s important to see this for yourself so that you gain a deeper understanding of what it means. Food doesn’t break down, so it can’t be natural.
We brought the Bionic Burger Museum to a recent health event to show how fast food is made with chemicals, preservatives, dyes and poor quality ingredients. Hundreds of people saw burgers from 1 to 11 years ago. None of them break down. Adults and children were stunned. When people see for themselves that fast food is not food, it can have a powerful impact, prompting them to make the right choices: choosing to eat healthy, nutritious food instead of a cornucopia of chemicals, preservatives, fats, greases and salt.
The video I just described has been viewed by 1.3 million people on YouTube. It has been translated into 7 different languages and featured on 50,000 blogs. It shows that people need this information and they want to be informed because information enables us to make good choices. You are choosing what to put in your body every day. Make the best choices and put foods in your body that help you, not hurt you.
When you put live food into your body, it contains enzymes that naturally break down the food. For example, the ripening of fruit is an enzyme-controlled process. If that fruit is not eaten, these enzymes will eventually eat away at the fruit. So the fruit will eat itself.
Well, these burgers aren’t eating themselves. Twenty years later they are still here because no enzyme exists. These burgers are loaded with preservatives, like a sealant, and it’s as if they’re made permanently, like you’re going to glaze a painting, frame it, and hang it on the wall. It’s not food, it’s something else. What that stuff is, we don’t know, but I’m impressed that people can eat it and live.
Now I also see 19-year-old burgers, some 15-year-old, 16-year-old burgers. Looks like we now have the technology to make the world’s first bionic burger! I recommend, if you take your health seriously, avoid fast food at all costs! There are so many healthy alternatives that will not only satisfy your cravings but also provide the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to perform at its best. Read one of our many other special stories on http://www.thebestdayever.com to find out all about delicious superfoods, superherbs and other great health foods.
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